The goat pen is an acre island in a sea
of more land. Among the browsing bodies
are two Akbash, primitive dogs, built
over millennia to kill bears. They gaze
for hours through the electric netting
at each breezing branch, all the hunting jays.
It’s the sounds they answer.
The short legged dogs down the road.
The senator’s helicopter, the propane delivery.
All warned not to enter, these dogs have faced
down the bear. They won’t suffer you. Hours
and goats and sounds. The pen is an island.
Only the weather changes, bitter rain, sleepy heat.
The ranch dog is fascinated by every tool
the rancher brings into the pen. Microbes
from the last job or the mice that tip toe
across it in the shed. Worlds, stories, forensics.
The cold metal hammer. It made
the barn and the pen. It ricochets shots of sound
away from here.
by Wren Tuatha
Editor’s Note: This poem’s title serves multiple meanings as the lines unfold the story of two dogs and their purpose within a larger narrative of tools and wonder.